The development of remote medical screenings was a welcome development.
It gave a clear message that insurers were still willing to consider non-standard lives, despite stricter underwriting.
Another area where there has been innovation and the foresight to do right by customers, has come from Legal & General, with its new facility to allow existing clients to write their policies into trust online.
From an adviser’s perspective, being able to write a trust online for a client is much easier than having to wait for postal wet signatures.
No matter how well you explain the importance of trusts, when you have to wait for paper forms to be passed between the policyholder and trustees and coordinate times to meet with witnesses, the drive to complete them can be lost.
There are times when a trust isn’t needed, but the majority of people can benefit from this extra service.
It also provides a reason to get in touch and review your client’s circumstances.
There is another important aspect of removing the need for wet signatures and the ability to amend trusts online.
I recently had a client that needed to change their trust, following the breakdown of a marriage and the involvement of police protection.
I spoke with the insurer but despite the situation, my only choice was to cancel the original policy and arrange a new one.
Luckily for this client, their health had not changed, so the terms of cover were the same.
People’s lives change, children are born, relationships break down; a number of situations that will mean someone needs to change the trustees and/or beneficiary of their trust.
It is important to understand that if these changes need to be made it could be due to circumstances where agreement from the trustees to change the trust is not possible.
I hope more insurers are able to follow suit and make this important part of the protection package a simple and efficient process for all involved.
Kathryn Knowles is managing director of Cura Financial Services